ST 2545

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2545

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

A pretty straightforward puzzle after the two thematic Sundays. Not much excitement on the face of it, but we still get very precise clues, and a little bit of novelty at 20A.

Across
1 Runs into group for combined meal (6)
BRUNCH – R=runs, in BUNCH=group – BRUNCH is of course a verbal combination of breakfast and lunch as well as a combined meal
4 Man’s man, for example, I don’t speak well of (8 )
ISLANDER = “Man’s man for example” – when Man is the Isle of Man. Wordplay: I SLANDER = “I don’t speak well off”
10 Complete an English church, it’s said (9)
UTTERANCE, described by “it’s said”. UTTER=complete,AN=an,CE=English church (Church of England). “English church” is more specific than the usual “church” for CE (or Ch.), but potentially confusing for experienced solvers who are so used to making “church” into one of these two that “English” can seem like a superfluous word in the clue, until you work it all out.
11 Frolic about outside a South African village (5)
KRAAL = a South African village – A in reversal of LARK=frolic
12 Old guy initially was put in very hard bunk (7)
HOGWASH = bunk – (OG = “old guy initially”, WAS) in HH = “very hard” (pencils)
13 Information at grass roots level? (7)
LOWDOWN = “information”, and LOW DOWN = “at grass roots level”
14 Lavishly entertained, given food with endless drink inside (5)
FETED – TE(a) = “endless drink”, in FED = “given food”
15 Decorate in half-hearted manner, not weirdly (8 )
ORNAMENT = decorate – anagram of “maner not”, with “half-hearted” meaning that only one of the two N’s in “manner” is used
18 Mammoth perturbing us no more (8 )
ENORMOUS – anagram of “us no more”
20 French painter and saintly patron heard distinctly (5)
DAVID = both a saintly patron and a French painter, each sounding different (“day-vid” and “da-veed”). A novel clue, which we might call a “heterophone”.
23 Hamlet’s first speech, mostly for his friend (7)
HORATIO – H = “Hamlet’s first”,ORATIO(n)=”speech mostly”. Horatio is a friend of Hamlet, possibly remembered from the correct quote “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio”
25 American volume with a line showing character flaw (7)
LITERAL = character flaw = misprint – LITER = American volume, A, L=line
26 Some bread? Yes (5)
READY=money=”bread” (slang) – hidden in “bread? Yes”, so the clue is an all-in-one
27 Slowness to react in pathetic sentries guarding national leader (9)
INERTNESS = slowness to react – N = “national leader”, in an anagram of “sentries”
28 Watch play from spot, say, in front of gallery (8 )
SPECTATE = “watch play” (whether “play” is drama or sport) – SPEC = “speck” = spot, TATE = gallery
29 King Lear, for example (6)
EDWARD = both “King”, and “Lear, for example”
Down
1 Peremptorily dismiss first of batsmen – get out with pace (5,3)
BRUSH OFF = peremptorily dismiss – B from ‘batsmen’, RUSH OFF = “get out with pace”
2 Revolting drunk making us tense (7)
UPTIGHT=tense – UP=in rebellion=revolting, TIGHT=drunk
3 Herb carried on misbehaving (9)
CORIANDER = anagram of “carried on”. I’m usually unimpressed by clues that use arbitrary names in anagram fodder, but here the arbitrary name is the definition. Probably just as easy for the solver (the same “Why Herb?” question should come to mind), but somehow it doesn’t bug me as much.
5 Valuable metal gun taken by pirate (8,6)
STERLING SILVER – STERLING = A type of submachine-gun (new or forgotten for me), SILVER = pirate
6 Crookedly arranged, like part of our capital (5)
ASKEW = crookedly arranged – AS = like, KEW = “part of our capital”
7 Press function outside newspaper taking place (7)
DRAGOON = press, as in press gang – (RAG=newspaper in DO=party=function), then ON = “taking place”
8 Like the top class, feeling sorry about learner (6)
RULING = “like the top class” – L=learner, in RUING = “feeling sorry” – “about”, which seems to be part of “feeling sorry about”=RULING, is actually the containment indicator.
9 Book collector securing right work for cultural expert (14)
ANTHROPOLOGIST = “cultural expert”, when culture is “The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society” – (R = right, OP. = opus = work), in ANTHOLOGIST = “book collector”, when “book collector” is interpreted like “crossword compiler”
16 Thought deeply, getting married, about correct text (9)
MEDITATED = thought deeply – EDIT=correct (vb.) text, in MATED = married
17 Held in great esteem, I had disturbed soldier no end (8 )
IDOLISED = held in great esteem – I’D = I had, anag. of SOLDIE(r)
19 Operated rising charge to provide account (7)
NARRATE = “to provide account” – NAR = reverse of ran=operated, RATE=charge
21 Flower from boy accepted by girl (7)
VERBENA = flower – BEN = boy, in VERA = girl
22 Refrain from song about ancient deity (6)
CHORUS = refrain from song – C.=circa=about,HORUS=ancient deity
24 Crack stone in date (5)
TRYST=date – TRY=crack, ST.=stone

3 Comments

  1. Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did anyone else think that Virgilius was smiling when he put 18a/20a in?

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I did wonder if it was a reference to your bigger cousin!

    • gazza
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I took it to be a humorous tribute to you, with both answers on the same line in the middle of the grid.

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